A24 Picks Up Horror Script From Author of Viral Short Story "Cat Person" (Exclusive)

It's the first-ever spec acquisition for the company behind 'Lady Bird' and 'Ex Machina.'
Tom Gauld/The New Yorker; Elisa Roupenian Toha
The Dec. 11 issue of The New Yorker in which "Cat Person" first appeared; Kristen Roupenian

A24 has made its first-ever spec script acquisition, picking up a horror screenplay from Kristen Roupenian, the author of the viral New Yorker fiction story "Cat Person."

Bodies, Bodies, Bodies is the name of the screenplay, but the logline is being kept six feet under for now. Sources say that, like "Cat Person," the script shows heightened sensitivity to character development and social dynamics in a subversive way.

Roupenian's "Cat Person," which was published in December, told the story of a 20-year-old female college student who has a relationship with an older man that turns sour. It became The New Yorker's most-read fiction story of 2017, igniting a debate over gender roles in Millennial dating. Some even noted that the story had a horror subtext.

Executives at A24 were familiar with the short story, and when they heard the author had separately written a script, they became intrigued and tracked it down. What the execs found was a shrewd character study where mystery and deep-seated scares blended in such a way that the company saw an opportunity to make a horror movie that could also be culturally relevant, sources say. The plan is to fast-track the script to production, sources added.

Bodies could kick off a new phase for A24, the production-finance-distribution company behind such singular-minded movies as Lady Bird and Ex Machina. While the company has tended to come in at various stages of the film process, it now hopes to buy and develop more scripts in their earliest form.

Roupenian, who off the strength of "Cat Person" scored a seven-figure deal with Scout Press for her next collection of stories, is repped by CAA and Union Literary.